English Speaking Therapists in Barcelona

5 Key Stages of Culture Shock and How Psychotherapy Can Help

5 Key Stages of Culture Shock and How Psychotherapy Can Help

Moving to a new country or city is a thrilling adventure, filled with new sights, sounds, and experiences. However, adapting to a new culture can also bring about a range of emotions and reactions known as culture shock. For internationals in Barcelona, understanding these stages and seeking therapy can make the transition smoother and more manageable. Explore culture shock and coping strategies with Therapy in Barcelona in this article.

1. The Honeymoon Phase

During this initial stage, everything seems new and exciting. The differences between the old and new culture are seen in a positive light, and many individuals are optimistic and curious about their new surroundings.

Coping Strategy: 

Enjoy this phase, but also take this time to establish a support system. Consider joining international groups or attending events catered to expats.  At this stage, finding an English-speaking therapist is a great idea so you can develop coping strategies for inevitable rough patches before they arrive.

2. The Frustration Phase

After the initial excitement wears off, individuals might start feeling frustrated, angry, or even resentful of the new culture. This can stem from misunderstandings, language barriers, or simply missing home.

Coping Strategy: 

This is where therapy in Barcelona can be incredibly beneficial. Speaking to a therapist can provide a safe space to express feelings and develop coping mechanisms. This is where the team of psychology-trained expat therapists at Therapy in Barcelona come in handy!

3. The Adjustment Phase

During this stage, individuals start to feel more familiar and comfortable with their new surroundings. They develop routines, make new friends, and begin to understand the cultural nuances.

Coping Strategy: 

Continue to learn and engage with the local culture. Taking language classes or participating in local events can foster a deeper connection.

4. The Acceptance Phase

This doesn’t mean that individuals completely understand or even adopt the new culture. Instead, they learn to accept and appreciate both the similarities and differences. They find a balance between their old and new lives.

Coping Strategy: 

Reflect on the journey. Recognise the growth and resilience developed through this experience. Regular sessions of psychotherapy in English or your preferred language can offer reflective insights.

5. The Adaptation or Biculturalism Phase

In this final stage, individuals can move fluidly between their original culture and their new one, integrating aspects of both into their daily lives. They feel at home in both cultures.

Coping Strategy: 

Continue nurturing connections in both cultures. This can mean keeping in touch with family and friends back home while also building a life in Barcelona.

For many, navigating these stages isn’t a linear journey. Some might find themselves oscillating between stages, especially during stressful times or when they’re away from their support system. This is where Therapy in Barcelona can make a profound difference. Having an counsellor to guide you through these emotions, offering strategies and coping mechanisms tailored to your experiences and needs, can be invaluable.

Why Choose Therapy in Barcelona?


Adapting to a new culture can be both rewarding and challenging. If you or someone you know is struggling with this transition, remember that seeking help is a sign of strength. Our team of experienced English-speaking therapists understands the complexities of culture shock and the unique challenges faced by internationals in Barcelona. 

Whether you’re seeking individual psychotherapy or group sessions, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Don’t navigate the waves of culture shock alone. Reach out to us at Therapy in Barcelona and let us be your guiding light.

Other articles you may like:

What is counselling? 

The Truth About Expat Life

Life Transitions

🌐 Sources

issuu.com – White paper, Barcelona, the capital of a new state

diposit.ub.edu – Zen aesthetic: development and influence in culture and …

issuu.com – Contributions to Science by Institut d’Estudis Catalans


repositorio.cepal.org – S1200080_en.pdf.txt

academia.edu – Touring Consumption: Itineraries on the Move

× Welcome! Available from 10:00 to 15:00 Available on SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday